Cannabis has been in the spotlight for its fascinating array of compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, but there is another group of hidden heroes that deserve our attention – flavonoids. These lesser-known compounds are found not only in cannabis but also in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and plants. These chemical compounds are nature’s gift, offering a vibrant palette of colors to the plant kingdom and bestowing numerous potential health benefits upon us.
Flavonoid: It’s Pronounced, “Flay Von Oid”
Full spectrum CBD and THCA users may be familiar with the “Entourage Effect”, where a variety of compounds found in hemp and cannabis work in concert to regulate our endocannabinoid system. Having a healthy endocannabinoid system helps our bodies maintain homeostasis.
You may already be familiar with two of these compounds, cannabinoids and terpenes but you may not be familiar with flavonoids.
What are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a diverse group of polyphenolic compounds present in plants. Their vibrant hues, ranging from yellow to red to blue, lend a colorful charm to flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Besides their aesthetic appeal, flavonoids play a crucial role in plant survival. They help protect plants from harmful environmental stressors, such as UV rays and pathogens. In humans, these plant compounds are believed to offer similar protective effects.
Flavonoids in Cannabis
Within the cannabis plant, these compounds are secreted in the sticky resin glands alongside cannabinoids and terpenes. Although present in smaller quantities compared to cannabinoids, flavonoids contribute significantly to the overall therapeutic potential of the cannabis plant. Over 20 different flavonoids have been identified in cannabis, each with its distinct properties and potential health benefits.
Keep in mind that these are plant pigments that protect plants from harmful UV rays and help regulate plant cells. There are over 6000 flavonoids known to exist in nature, with hemp and cannabis containing approximately 20. The most common of these are beta-sitosterol, which is known for being anti-inflammatory. Research shows that beta-sitosterol’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great choice for treating issues ranging from enlarged prostate and prostate infections to skin allergies and psoriasis. Beta-sitosterol is most commonly used in heart disease and high cholesterol medications, helping limit the amount of cholesterol that enters the body.
Health Benefits of Cannabis Flavonoids
Anti-Inflammatory Action: Flavonoids in cannabis, such as quercetin and kaempferol, have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the body, providing potential relief for conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Antioxidant Power: These botanical compounds are powerful antioxidants, meaning they can neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. By combating oxidative stress, flavonoids may support healthy aging and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Cardiovascular Health: Some flavonoids found in cannabis, like apigenin and cannflavin A, have shown potential benefits for cardiovascular health. These compounds may help improve blood circulation, reduce blood pressure, and support overall heart health.
Brain Health: Flavonoids, such as catechin and epicatechin, have been linked to improved cognitive function and memory retention. These compounds may also offer neuroprotective effects, potentially benefiting brain health.
|Flavonoid||Chemical Name||Possible Health Benefits (Strains)*|
|Cannflavin A||CannflavA||Anti-inflammatory properties (Cannabis sativa strains)|
|Cannflavin B||CannflavB||Potential pain relief (Cannabis sativa strains)|
|Quercetin||–||Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (ACDC, Harlequin)|
|Kaempferol||–||May support cardiovascular health (Girl Scout Cookies, Pineapple Express)|
|Apigenin||–||Potential anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory effects (Sour Tsunami, Harle-Tsu)|
|Luteolin||–||May have neuroprotective properties (Cannatonic, Critical Mass)|
|Myricetin||–||Antioxidant and potential anti-cancer effects (Purple Haze, Blue Dream)|
|Orientin||–||Supports overall health (Super Lemon Haze, Jack Herer)|
|Vitexin||–||Potential anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects (ACDC, Cannatonic)|
Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory effects (Strawberry Cough, Green Crack)
Please note that the “Possible Health Benefits” listed here are based on preliminary research and may not be definitive. The effects of these compounds can vary depending on individual body chemistry and the specific cannabis strains used. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using cannabis or its derivatives for medicinal purposes.
No, flavonoids are present in a wide variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. They contribute to the diverse colors and flavors in nature.
Plant compounds such as these are known to support immune function, enhance skin health, and promote weight management. Additionally, some flavonoids may have anti-cancer properties, though more research is needed.
Yes, consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and herbs allows you to benefit from the health-promoting properties of flavonoids.
Flavonoids are generally safe when consumed through dietary sources. However, excessive consumption of isolated flavonoid supplements may lead to adverse effects. It’s best to obtain flavonoids through a balanced diet.
Some of the Flavonoids found in cannabis and studies
- A study in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (2014) highlights the neuroprotective potential of luteolin in preventing cognitive decline.
- A review published in the journal Molecules (2018) explores the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of luteolin.
- A systematic review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2017) suggests that quercetin may have beneficial effects on blood pressure and inflammation.
- A study in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2016) explores the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin.